27 February 2010: An eternal stain

On this day Aaron Ramsey was seriously assaulted by the Stoke player Shawcross causing a double fracture of Ramsey’s lower right leg, breaking the tibia and fibula. 

Ramsey did not play again until a reserve game on 23 November.  Shawcross on the other hand was immediately given a place in the England squad.  He finally played for England in 2012.

This was not the first serious incident involving Shawcross as in a match against Arsenal as in November 2008, Shawcross had delivered a wild off-the-pitch tackle that led to a three-week injury to Emmanuel Adebayor.  This incident was not recalled by journalists when they dealt with Shawcross’ horror tackle on Ramsey.

At subsequent games between Arsenal and Stoke City large numbers of Stoke fans inanely booed Ramsey, something the Stoke City club did nothing to denounce or discourage, an issue which remains an eternal stain on the standing of the Stoke City, a club that was one of the original founders of the Football League.

Arsenal finished third in the League that season, with Stoke in 11th and its was notable throughout this and subsequent campaigns that there was no move whatsoever to discuss let alone condemn the Stoke tactics by the media, who if anything seemed to support Shawcross in all that he did.

This was Stoke’s second season in the Premier League, and they remained there until 2017/18 when they were relegated.  They have since finished 16th and 15th in the Championship and they are currently mid-table.

Shawcross continued to play at Stoke until earlier this year, before moving to Inter Miami, the American club co-owned by David Beckham.